Home' Plains Producer : PP_130320 Contents 16 www.plainsproducer.com.au
Plains Producer, Wednesday March 20, 2013
NEW PACKAGE TO BENEFIT FARMERS:
AS we come into the new cropping
year, many growers are looking
back at the harvest just gone
and speculating on why Durum protein
levels were hard to manage.
“Last year, there were two issues
which affected nitrogen and made it
hard for growers to crack DR1”, said
Elders Durum agronomist, Michael
“The first, which is most likely,
was simply the fact growers found it
hard to get a suitable window for urea
application – there was just not the
rain we needed to make confident urea
decisions,” Michael said.
“Second, for those who did apply
late season urea, it was either too late
to influence protein effectively or
negatively impacted on grain quality
required for DR1 protein.
Slipping from DR1 down to DR2
meant growers received a price cliff
face of $20 - $30 per tonne.
“Such a slip is risky for a grains
business and can almost turn crops into
an unprofitable exercise,” Michael said.
SA Durum Grower of the Year and
Mallala grower, Richard Konzag, said:
“We try to target a 13 per cent protein
DR1 with our production.
“The challenge with this target is
balancing high protein with higher
screenings risk in years where the sea-
son turns off, such as last year”.
“Some years ago, the industry
enjoyed a far fairer approach to the
management of severe penalties of
dropping from one grade to another.
“I can accept dropping a dollar or
two if my protein falls by 0.1per cent,
but a cliff-face of $20-30 can shift the
crop from profitable to unprofitable.
Following feedback from many
concerned Durum growers, the Aus-
tralian Grain Growers Co-operative
(AGG Co-op) developed a new zero
cost Durum crop protection package,
which combines popular area-based
contracts with removal of sharp protein
cliff faces between Durum grades.
“I am supportive of this new pack-
age as it means I will not have to push
the crop so hard to try to sneak over
13 per cent protein which in 2012/13
also pushed my screenings over 5 per
cent,” said Richard.
An indirect benefit could also be
gained across other quality risks.
“Under this arrangement, growers
commit an area to the program. There
is no commitment on tonnage” said
Steve Mellington, CEO ofAGG Co-op.
“The only obligation a grower holds
is to deliver the tonnage produced from
the area under contract,” he said.
AGG Co-op operations manager,
Edward Cay, advised the annual release
of Durum area-based contracts occurred
well before seeding so growers could
finalise decisions on paddock plans.
“For niche crops such as Durum,
growers have made it clear to AGG
Co-op that price signals are required
early in the season” he said.
During 2012/13, the world Durum
crop was reasonably static at around 35
A large crop in NorthAmerica offset
lower production in the EU, Morocco
and the Black Sea region. Global trade
is expected to fall slightly to around
seven million tonnes across 2013 due
to lower demand from North Africa.
While growers are now invited to
participate in the 2013/14 offering,
growers needed to be clear it was a
“In the first instance, we will provide
this offering exclusively to members of
AGG Co-op, any additional tonnage
will be available on a first in, first served
basis,” Edward said.
n Growers looking to discuss the
2013/14 area based Durum program
with sliding scale protein increments
can call theAGG Co-opAdelaide office
on 1300 943 244.
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